Clarice Tuai was a Grade 6 student when she won a logo design contest for the Trail Sk8 Park. Now 17 and finishing Grade 11 at J.L. Crowe, Tuai’s design has come back into play for the new facility, which will break ground near Gyro Park next month. (Sheri Regnier photo)

Introducing the Trail Sk8 Park!

The city was leaning toward “All Wheel” for a few years but went in a new/old direction instead

In rolling ahead, Trail council gave a nod to the past.

Instead of going with the City of Trail All Wheel Park as suggested for the past few years, on Monday night, Trail leaders agreed to go with an insightful proposal by parks director Trisha Davison.

Davison was at the meeting to garner council’s approval on the final design of the much anticipated project, which is slated to break ground near the Gyro Park boat launch in mid-July.

She suggested another name – the one young skateboarders came up with at least 10 years ago.

So here it is – the new park will officially be called the Trail Sk8 Park.

And the Trail Sk8 Park logo, also with a history, has come back to light.

Clarice Tuai – the present Miss Trail Congeniality – was 11 years-old and in Grade 6 when she won a logo design contest held by a committee from the Trail skate park society.

Now 17 and finishing Grade 11 at J.L. Crowe, Tuai was thrilled to hear the new facility is going to be named the Trail Sk8 Park and that her logo is back in play.

“Oh wow, that’s so cool,” she told the Times.

With the name and design blueprints in the bag, council voiced concern about one outstanding detail that could potentially throw a wrench into the mix.

Because park construction will be near the Columbia River, a permit is required from the Ministry of Environment.

Fortunately, Davison did hear from the province shortly before council, and the news was favourable for Trail.

“The ministry is moving along,” she said. “I had three very important emails and a verbal conversation with the ministry today and the information was positive, so that was very helpful to get at this point,” Davison added.

“Final bits and pieces are still to come, but we have no reason to be concerned at this point.”

Earlier, she alluded to the fact that rising water may infringe on the skate park during future spring melts.

“There may simply be times that the skate park is just not a space where we can send kids down to,” Davison said. “At certain times of the year, and on a year-to-year basis, depending on river level, we’ll have to make decisions on that.”

The project’s budget sits at $700,000 including contingencies.

Columbia Basin Trust contributed $150,000 toward the park through a recreation infrastructure grant, Friends of the Trail Sk8 Park Society have raised $72,000 plus $10,000 in-kind donations, and the Murphy Foundation (owner of Trail Smoke Eaters) donated $30,000.

The $448,000 balance will be covered through municipal taxes.

The project has been on the books since 2003, when Trail council held a public consultation to review potential locations for a skate park. Back then, the new build was estimated to cost about $200,000.

Gyro Park was the chosen site that year, but backlash from neighbouring residents forced the city to re-think the locale. The Gulch turnaround was subsequently chosen as the grounds for the facility.

The skate park was put on hold year after year as estimated costs escalated and concerns about the Rossland Avenue location were raised. Fast forward to 2010, after being lobbied by local youth, city council put the project on the slate although location continued to pose discourse in the community.

“Not in my back yard” appeared to be the consensus.

One year later the Gulch site was cemented as the spot, a series of public consultations resumed, and New Line Skate Parks came on board with conceptual site designs.

After years of debate about cost-sharing, in 2012, the city committed to pay one half -or $275,000 -toward construction. The other half would have to raised by the skate park society.

The venture remained at a standstill until 2014, when lack of a Trail skate park became a hot topic during the municipal election. At that time, all candidates said they would take a serious look at finally getting the facility built.

The “Trail All Wheel Park,” was taken off the back burner in early 2015 and the site was moved back to Gyro Park. Current council listed the project as a strategic priority in November 2016 and last fall, the city confirmed it would be in the 2018 capital plan.

 

From the left: Liz Johnston, Clarice Tuai and Trail Coun. Eleanor Gattafoni Robinson, a longtime skate park advocate. (February 2013 Trail Times photo)

Clarice Tuai, Feb. 2013.

(Image: City of Trail)

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